On Thursday, President Joe Biden authorized the use of 3,000 reserve troops in Europe following the two-day NATO summit he attended in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The summit was part of his five-day trip through the U.K., Lithuania and Finland, where he expressed a clear stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the White House announcement of the action, Biden emphasized the necessity to “augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility.”
Biden’s order grants Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin permission to call up reserve units and send them into eastern European countries as the war in Ukraine continues, per Military Times.
Although Ukraine has asked to join NATO, the U.S. along with other NATO members have said it wouldn’t happen immediately.
While meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on Thursday, Biden emphasized that “(Ukraine President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy ‘ended up very happy’ despite his expressed frustrations at the lack of a clear timetable for Ukraine to join the alliance,” according to Fox News.
Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, reacted to the news of Biden’s decision in a series of tweets, saying, “I’ve been trying to figure out what this means. Bottom line up front: President Biden is arguably walking the U.S. up to the line of war and daring Russia to shoot first.”
One Twitter user asked how to stop this from happening, to which Lee replied that although controversial, invoking the War Powers Act might be the next move Congress needs to make.
Another user asked, “Does the war powers act give Congress the authority to pull back executive war efforts?”
Lee said in theory, yes, but the president of the United States “can veto a resolution passed under the War Powers Act, so unless he decides not to veto 2/3 of both houses of Congress were willing to override his veto, it’s not going to work. That would leave Congress with the option of defunding, but that’s tricky too because spending legislation is also subject to presidential veto.”